Friday, January 04, 2008


I was at a holiday party a few weeks ago, and there I met a man who told me that he was helping with the Barack Obama campaign. He asked me what I thought about Obama, and I told him that I wasn't sure who I wanted to be president, but I hoped that Obama really had a chance. He asked what made me worried about Obama's chances. I'd heard about how Hillary Clinton was supported by many Black women, and I suspected that a WHITE woman would get more play than a BLACK man. He said that that was fair, but what about Obama's then-current standing in the Iowa polls? He assured me that Obama was a contender.

My new friend asked me: If Obama could get the votes and be a real contender, would that change my feelings about him as a candidate?

Most definitely.

Now I have to get more serious about this thing - really look at the candidates' positions. Tuning into debates gives you sound bites only. I've got to know what these candidates claim they're really about. And in all honesty, I hope that when my digging is over, I come out on Obama's side.

Because I am so proud of what happened in Iowa yesterday. So proud to see a 94% white state come out at almost 40% for a candidate who happened to be a black man. So proud to see a man who is like the many black men I know exist - intelligent, ambitious, positive - standing on a podium kissing his wife and daughters in the eye of the nation, and the world. So proud to know what an important moment it was for America, and that I was witnessing it!

Congratulations to the Senator.

I understand that many primaries lie ahead, that Clinton and Edwards each have their own shots at the nomination, and that many Americans still might not be ready... but I can't help but wonder, what if? What if more people are ready than those who aren't?

Eyes on the Prize came on late last night. (I've got to remember to buy that series.) Watching the stories of James Meredith and the black citizens of Birmingham, and the NAACP legal team... It helped to put the importance of last night into perspective for me. Sometimes change came when folks weren't ready. What if this time, people are ready for change?